Diane Johnson is pictured with one of her volunteer drivers Fran Schmitz.

Johnson new coordinator for Congregate Meals

Lutheran Social Services Congregate Meals on Wheels program in Springfield has a new coordinator, Diane Johnson.

Bright and cheerful Johnson is a senior herself at 72 years old. Born and raised in Dovray, Minn., she spent 35 years as a LPN working in operating rooms. She has two sons, three grandchildren, two dogs, two cats and one horse. She moved to Springfield in 2000. 

“This town has been an awesome place to move to,” said Johnson.   

She became the coordinator for this important service early this year. 

As with most things, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how things are done. 

“I’ve been baptized by fire, she said with a smile adding, “it’s been a challenge, but it’s also been wonderful to be able to help.”

For years the Congregate Meals worked out of Downtown Estates Apts. However the community room where they worked out of was closed and they moved into St. St. Johns Lutheran Church.

“It feels like I’m working at the Ritz. The kitchen is nice and big, it’s gorgeous,” said Johnson of the modern kitchen. 

She would especially like to thank Pastor Julie and Kayla and everybody at the church. 

“It’s a wonderful place,” said Johnson. 

Currently the meals come in from New Ulm. Due to the pandemic all meals come in pre-packaged and sealed for safety reasons.

The organization serves approximately 25-27 meals locally per day. Volunteers deliver meals Monday through Friday. 

“It takes a lot of organizing,” said Johnson. 

When the pandemic started, they needed to get two weeks of extra meals delivered to their seniors. These were frozen meals that could be reheated. 


See complete story in this week's issue of the Springfield Advance-Press.

Springfield Advance-Press

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